8th February 2018, 11:55
The Ones to Watch - Halifax RLFC
Sheffield Eagles travel to the MBi Shay on Sunday, aiming to bounce back after their opening night defeat against Dewsbury Rams.
Halifax stand in the way of Mark Aston’s men and the West Yorkshire club have enjoyed a fine few years under the stewardship of Richard Marshall.
Two Qualifiers appearances in three seasons, coupled with a thriving youth setup, sees Halifax in a great position both on and off the field.
However, they also started their 2018 league campaign with a loss away from home.
Featherstone Rovers triumphed 20-4 at the LD Nutrition Stadium, with Ben Heaton scoring the visitors’ only try of the contest.
So who will be the danger men for Halifax on Sunday? Here’s our pick of three players to look out for..
The experienced operator has caused many problems for defences in the past and it’s to be expected he’ll put Sheffield to the test on Sunday. The former Hull KR stand-off has plied his trade in West Yorkshire since 2013 and he is into his testimonial year. With an outstanding kicking game, Murrell can turn a game on its head in the blink of an eye. He also had a brief stint as interim head coach of Halifax following the departure of Karl Harrison in the final weeks of the 2014 regular season.
The full-back is one of the most powerful ball carriers in the division and will capitalise on any sloppy kick-chase defending. Sharp joined Halifax from Featherstone Rovers in 2016 but wasn’t an instant hit with the Shay faithful. However, he managed to win the fans over and Sharp has become one of the most consistent full-backs outside of Super League.
Loose forward Fairbank linked up with Halifax in 2015 after a number of loan spells at various clubs while at Huddersfield Giants. He has thrived since the permanent move to ‘Fax and his offloading game is certainly capable of unlocking a defence. Fairbank will be hoping to inspire his side to victory over the Eagles on Sunday in Fax's first home league match of 2018.
Sunday’s game at the MBi Shay kicks off at 3pm.
By Dan Fowler, photo by Alex Coleman